E counselling increases wellbeing,, though wellness can be better maximized in person
A report written in "new medical" and administered by the Canadian cardiovascular counsel stated that online counselling or E counselling helped increase well being in patients.
The article stated that E Counselling can significantly lower blood pressure, improve lifestyle and enhance quality of life, says Heart and Stroke Foundation researcher Dr. Robert Nolan.
"E-counselling has the potential to strengthen the effects of medical treatment for high blood pressure," Dr. Nolan told the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress, which is co-hosted by the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Canadian Cardiovascular Society. "We found that it led to an almost double decrease in the blood pressure levels of participants compared to those who did not receive the e-counselling."
Dr. Nolan and his team from the University Health Network, University of Western Ontario and the Ontario Public Health Unit in Grey Bruce evaluated Heart&Stroke Health eSupport, a Heart and Stroke Foundation personalized action plan and e-mail support program developed to help people control their blood pressure and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
The researchers found that e-counselling motivates people to stay on track with diet and exercise plans, which leads to lower blood pressure.
The moods of people coping with high blood pressure also improved while they were participating in the e-counselling program. Depression is known to have an adverse effect on patients with high blood pressure, says Dr. Nolan. It causes them to lose interest in eating healthy foods and exercising - two lifestyle choices that can significantly improve their health. "Knowing this, we wanted to look at the effect of e-counselling in terms of improving lifestyle behaviours, as well as decreasing blood pressure."
The study evaluated 387 people ranging in age from 45 to 74, over a four-month period. All had been diagnosed with high blood pressure and 72 per cent were taking one or more blood pressure medications.
One group was sent a standard e-newsletter from the Heart and Stroke Foundation, containing heart health information and general tips to manage their health. The second group received eight emails over four months that provided both educational information as well as motivational messages.
Prior to receiving the emails, the second group filled out surveys identifying what they wanted to change about their lifestyle, such as quitting smoking, improving their diet, or being more physically active. The emails then addressed their individual concerns and included tailored suggestions and personal encouragement to help them achieve their goals.
Participants in the study who received these emails recorded approximately double the amount of decrease in blood pressure, compared to subjects who received just the newsletter, Dr. Nolan reported.
"We found the e-counselling was associated with an improvement in both exercise and diet behaviour. The motivational component was therapeutic," said Dr. Nolan. "E-tools to promote healthy lifestyles are becoming an established success - it's the way of the future."
Empathy can not be felt online
The ability of a counsellor is not only to listen & empathise with their client, it is to read their body language and know when it is a time to address the information they have been told or to keep listening.
Sam Phillis our resident counselor here at the Cenacle Treatment Centre stipulated that:
"there is a sense of detachment to online counselling where i believe empathy is not an online concept".
We are a nation of convenience and speed though with emotion and negative thought patterns, these need to be given time they need to find that moment of clarity. This is unlikely when you have to type to address these feeling, where in a real or one to one counselling session the therapist can understand empathise and began to take the session to its next stage of progression.